Developing alternative energy sources - Serious look at future

People increasingly began to think about what will be the basis of their existence in the new era. Energy has been and remains the main component of human life. It allows to create different materials, is one of the main factors in the development of new technologies. People have passed the way from the first fire to nuclear power plants, has developed basic traditional energy resources - coal, oil and gas, have used the energy of rivers, have acquired "peaceful atom", but the issue of using new non-traditional, alternative forms of energy is actively discussed.

According to experts, the world's coal resources total 15, but according to unofficial estimates, 30 trillion tons, oil - 300 billion tons, gas - 220 trillion cubic meters. Explored reserves of coal amount to 1.685 trillion tons, oil - 137 billion tons, gas - 142 trillion cubic meters. Despite such an impressive figure, why is the tendency to develop alternative forms of energy observed?.

There are several answers to this question. Firstly, the continuous growth of the industry as the main consumer of the energy sector. There is an opinion that under the current situation, the coal reserves will be sufficient for about 270 years, oil for 35-40 years, gas for 50 years. Secondly, there is a need for significant financial expenditure for the exploration of new fields, since often these works are connected with the organization of deep drilling (especially in offshore conditions) and other complex and high technologies. And thirdly, the environmental problems are associated with the production of energy. Warehouses of oil products and the surrounding territory remember the "city of the dead".

An important reason for the need to develop alternative energy sources is the problem of global warming. Its essence is that the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by burning coal, oil and gasoline in the process of generating heat, electricity and providing vehicles absorbs thermal radiation from the surface of our planet warmed by the sun and creates a so-called greenhouse effect.

Currently many different ideas and suggestions are made on the use of various renewable energy resources. The development of some projects has just begun. Thus, there are suggestions for using the energy decomposition of atomic particles, artificial tornadoes and even the power of lightning. Experiments are conducted on the use of "bioenergy".

But there are "traditional" forms of alternative energy. This is solar and wind energy, the energy of sea waves, tides. There are projects on transformation into energy the gas given off by landfills. The main type of "free" inexhaustible energy of is the solar energy. The sun concentrates 99,886 percent of the entire mass of the solar system. Every second the sun radiates energy in thousands of billions greater than a nuclear explosion of 1 kg of U235.

In Azerbaijan, there are very favorable natural conditions for the development of renewable energy sources. Azerbaijan is considered one of the most profitable countries in terms of alternative energy development. Firstly the country has high potential for development of wind energy, especially on the Absheron peninsula, where the wind varies in the range from 3 to 7 m/sec, which is considered ideal for the effective functioning of wind generators. In Azerbaijan there are 260-280 sunny days per year. The country has thermal waters, especially in the Guba district, and the temperature of water reaches 90 degrees. Thermal waters have never been used in Azerbaijan, but today there is rich international experience on their application, in particular at home to create heat, and the country intends to introduce that experience.

A powerful legislative base should be present for the development of alternative energy in Azerbaijan. The international experience shows that the alternative energy is developed only in those countries where a legal framework has been established and laws work effectively. A number of issues, including environmental, economic, the relationship between supplier and consumer and others, should be legally stipulated. So, maximally favorable conditions should be created for this sector.

Today the government pays special attention to this issue. Thus, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev instructed that the entrepreneurs engaged in alternative energy must be independent.

The Ministry of Industry and Energy organizes international conferences devoted to the alternative and renewable energy sources and measures for their use, meetings, exchange of views with countries, professionals with experience in this regard, members of the World Council for Renewable Energy, Committee on Alternative Energy, etc.

Fund for Monitoring Ecological Standards of Azerbaijan organized a round-table focusing on the theme "Ecology and alternative energy sources: realities and challenges".

The State Oil Fund and other companies provide fiscal support to various projects in this regard. Also negotiations are conducted with international financial institutions.

Ministry of Industry and Energy of Azerbaijan has defined the primary activities for the development of alternative energy in the country. The first activity under the State program on alternative and renewable energy sources will be creating a park of wind generators with a total capacity of 250 megawatts.

A wind power station of 20 MWt will be built in Gobustan district. Under the project, there are plans to use alternative sources of energy near Sumgayt, to build wind turbines at 250 MWt on the Yeni Yashma area. Moreover, there are plans to implement a pilot project for the production of methane from biomass.

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